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obtain

play
verb ob·tain \əb-ˈtān, äb-\

Simple Definition of obtain

  • : to gain or get (something) usually by effort

  • : to continue to be accepted or in use

Full Definition of obtain

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to gain or attain usually by planned action or effort

  3. intransitive verb
  4. 1 archaic :  succeed

  5. 2 :  to be generally recognized or established :  prevail

ob·tain·abil·i·ty play \-ˌtā-nə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun
ob·tain·able play \-ˈtā-nə-bəl\ adjective
ob·tain·er noun
ob·tain·ment play \-ˈtān-mənt\ noun

Examples of obtain

  1. The information may be difficult to obtain.

  2. We obtained a copy of the original letter.

  3. These ideas no longer obtain for our generation.



Origin of obtain

Middle English obteinen, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French obtenir, from Latin obtinēre to hold on to, possess, obtain, from ob- in the way + tenēre to hold — more at thin


First Known Use: 15th century



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